My Convertible Life

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remembering Ally

Depending on your age and your TV viewing habits, you may or may not remember a show from the 90s called Ally McBeal. At the time it first aired, I was the target audience for the show -- mid-20s, single white female, searching for true love and professional happiness. I followed the show religiously, grading papers while I watched in order to justify staying up past my high-school-teacher bedtime. I lived vicariously through Ally (played by the frighteningly thin Calista Flockhart, shown at left), sharing her pain and wishing I could wear those fabulous short skirts. I finally stopped watching when I was living overseas and didn't have a television (plus the UK version was a season behind), but I think the show jumped the shark while I was gone and I never went back.

I'd forgotten about the show until this week, when I pulled out a Vonda Shepard CD for New Music Monday. Shepard provided much of the soundtrack for the show, and just listening to the first song suddenly took me back... Ally's continuous efforts to get over the (supposed) love of her life who had married someone else (and unfortunately worked in the same law office along with his new wife), her crazy boss who put up with (and sometimes contributed to) her own craziness, her desperate quest to find the right man to love, her often failed attempts to be good at her job, her biological clock not just ticking but dancing in front of her.

Thinking back on the show made me so grateful for all the ways my life has changed since then... two graduate degrees, one husband, three internships, one long-term job, two babies, seven moves, three houses, one consulting gig, too many friends to count. Lots of chaos and plenty of challenges, but also hundreds of wonderful, beautiful and ordinary days.

In many ways, I have less control over my life now than I did then -- my kids determine my routines more than I do and I don't remember the last time I even got to use the bathroom alone. And yet I feel like I'm making more conscious decisions these days, choosing to live in my craziness instead of trying so hard to get out of it. Believing in that doesn't always make me feel better, but it does give me something better than a skinny TV character to hold on to.


  1. I too loved Ally - I used to watch the repeats on late-night tv after work. I still think of Ally's theme song every time I'm about to cross a city street.

  2. I loved her too! She was like my best friend. That show totally sucked me in. I would watch and feel like one of the characters! No show since has done that. Maybe it's age, but that was some fun! Awe.

    thanks for taking me back!


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